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On 20 October at the Barcelona Mobile World Centre, the nine fellows from the third edition of the University of Barcelona Design Health Barcelona master (d·HEALTH Barcelona) –an initiative of Biocat– presented their projects for the first time in public as part of their graduation ceremony.

The teams are working on three innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs detected during their time at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Institut Guttmann and Hospital Clínic on the microbiome, oral hygiene for children with special needs and hydration for hemodialysis patients, respectively.

These projects are the result of nine intense months of training, through which the fellows detected a total of 990 unmet clinical needs during their stays at the hospitals. "We are very happy because d·HEALTH Barcelona has been named one of the 10 most important accelerators in Europe,” explained academic director of Moebio and director of e-Health and Health 2.0 at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Jorge Juan Fernández, who highlights that the main mission of this master is to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem.

During the graduation ceremony, Jorge Juan Fernández highlighted that, starting this year, the program is now an accredited master’s degree through the University of Barcelona and has joined the Clinical Innovation Fellowships program under EIT Health, the most important health consortium in Europe, which aims to promote fellows’ mobility and exchanges, among other things. New this year, the fellows visited the biodesign program in Galway (Ireland), one of the four in Europe that follow the Stanford Biodesign methodology.

Eight fellows from the Karolinska Institutet CTMH and Bioinnovate Galway biodesign programs attended Graduation Day to share experiences with the fellows. They all met again the following day to discuss their questions regarding the innovation process and get advice on facing challenges, which the Barcelona fellows answered based on their experience having finished the program.


Outcomes and lessons learned

For the first time this year, the graduation ceremony featured presentations on three projects from previous years, with the entrepreneurs sharing the results obtained after participating in d·HEALTH Barcelona and giving the new graduates some tips.

My-Qup is working on a medical device for fecal incontinence. Meelk has developed a wearable device that measures the amount of breastmilk mothers produce and how much babies eat and is now launching its first pilot program. And usMIMA, the first start-up officially set up, has already launched its wearable MowoOT to market, which is a non-pharmacological, non-invasive solution for chronic constipation without side effects.

"42% of healthtech start-ups fail because they sell products no one wants. Being an entrepreneur is hard but being a health entrepreneur is even harder," explained the guest of honor at the ceremony, John M. Collins, PhD and COO at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT).

With more than 25 years of international experience in marketing innovative technology, and after having accelerated more than 600 projects at the CIMIT, Collins shared seven lessons learned: focus on important unmet clinical needs and who is paying, listen closely to everyone involved, never give up, be paranoid and explore anything that could kill the business, surround yourself with a good team and cultivate a shared culture, seek advice and build a network of contacts and butter up investors with your "story".


d·HEALTH Barcelona 2017

Biocat is currently looking for fellows for the fourth edition of the d·HEALTH Barcelona master, which will start in January 2017. The program is geared towards those with degrees in business, design, engineering or the life sciences. The deadline for registration is 11 November.

Follow this link to learn more about d·HEALTH Barcelona and how to apply:

Did you miss the conference by John M. Collins? Download his presentation with a summary of the highlights.


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